Mineral Specimens with Spodumene|
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10.6 x 3.7 x 1.1 cm. A superb, very sharp and totally gemmy floater of kunzite, from San Diego. Crystals of this quality from modern workings are even rarer than those surviving from the turn of the 1900s era of mining here. This was probably collected in the 1970s and was obtained from the Norm Dawson estate (Bob was owner of the White Queen for many decades). Ex. Pala International/William Larson Collection.
16.2 x 5.0 x 2.3 cm. A significant large kunzite from the county, from a very small mine in the Pala pegmatites. This crystal is complete, big, and gemmy. It has a uniquely pastel color to it, quite a bit lighter (but not colorless) than the traditional old Pala material. Mined in the 1980s. Ex. Pala International/William Larson Collection.
15.9 x 3.6 x 2.7 cm. A superb, lustrous, utterly glassy kunzite crystal showing extreme elongation. It sparkles off the many subfacets you can see. In person, it is a nice medium pink color, and would be considered both fine and large for the mine to have such clarity and color both. Mined in the 1990s by Roland Reed, Mine owner. Ex. Pala International/William Larson Collection.
A doubly-terminated crystal with extremely dark hot pink coloring along the c-axis (the long axis) for a San diego piece; and high lustre as well. Shown in normal light on frontal axis...again, color much more intense from top or bottom but I don''t want to misrepresent it as the color of the whole specimen by showing that view. It is an old specimen which first came to me almost 10 years ago and recently has come back in a collection I purchased (from a different person!). Such pieces were mined sporadically in San Diego since the late 1800''s, but remain very uncommon even in teh local collections. 6 x 2 x 2 cm
A floater crystal of greenish spodument, light grass green in color and gemmy enough internally for cutting. 3.6 x 3 x 1.6 cm
9.4 x 3.4 x 1.2 cm. Naturally-etched into a strange and attractive form, this is a gem kunzite crystal from Afghanistan. It is complete and terminated all around, a floater. The crystal has fine lilac color. Weighs 30 grams.
7.2 x 1.6 x 0.8 cm. A floater crystal of gem spodumene with a very faint greenish tint, with the typical jagged terminations, and complete all around. It has the usual striations on its faces that give it a frosty look; very clear inside. Weighs 11 grams.
This 167-gram crystal has incredibly good form and terminations for a San Diego kunzite. It has rich Pala-quality color down the c-axis (as does the fatter crystal below) though is sharper in form overall. Hiriart Hill is around the corner from the actual Pala Chief Mine but is more or less the same area and this locality was also an important producer of gem-grade cutting material in the early years of the 1900s when specimen and gem mining in San Diego provided much of the world's supply of the new species kunzite. Another important old kunzite, this one from the collection of Robert Linck (1905-1970). 11.9 x 4.7 x 1.2 cm
This 302-gram crystal has incredibly good form and an excellent top termination for a San Diego kunzite. It is actually a floater, though the bottom termination is not as fine as the top one is. It has rich Pala-quality color down the c-axis (as does the fatter crystal below) though is sharper in form overall. The Anite Mine is a small modern reworking into the classic old lodes, but produced very few specimens of this magnitude. This particular piece was obtained from the collection of Roland Reed, owner of the nearby Elizabeth R Mine. It should be considered an important crystal due to its size and quality. 13.9 x 7.3 x 1.8 cm
Kunzite was first discovered around 1900 in California by the noted mineralogiust Frederick Kunz, who had specimens from this locality. Historically, the best spods in San Diego were collected from this mine and they are at least 60-100 years old. This one ranks right up there with the few famous pieces I have seen for quality of color and gemminess, and should be considered a very important US gem crystal specimen. The kunzite suite here is one of the finest California kunzite suites I know of and was a particular source of pride. This particular specimen is a FLOATER, complete all around, with VERY RICH violet-pink color which is strong when looking down the long or c-axis and a more typical pink color on the other axes. It is as good an old Pala kunzite as I have seen for sale in many years! At 350-plus grams, too, it weighs about a pound and is no lightweight! Apparently this came to Chris out of a German collection, through California dealer Cal Graeber. 9.5 x 6.8 x 2.6 cm
A gorgeous DOUBLY-TERMINATED triphane (yellow-green spodumene) from the famous Beebe Hole in rural SD County! This one, in fact, was recognized by the locals to be so fat and juicy that it took the prize for best SD gem crystal at the local County fair (where many of the SD collectors show off their hoards...if you ever want a surprise, go see this fair and you'll be treated to a museum's worth of SD County rocks! The Beebe Hole was hit by accident when Loren Beebe was prospecting for garnets (around 1976?) in this remote area and stumbled on a spod shard. Exploration led to a SINGLE pocket which he collected in entirety and hoarded for several decades, selling mostly the cutting rough and keeping most of the better specimens until only recently. I visted Loren in his home in the Apple Valley in 1997, and saw them laid out in his living room. He would not sell the good pink crystals at that time although I was allowed to buy my favorite of the green spodumenes, this piece. I sold it shortly thereafter to Russ Rizzo, a local San Diego collector, in whose collection it has remained until now. This is an excellent and showy example of the find, plus just a darned good SD gem crystal as the fair judges pronounced! 11 x 7.3 x 2.4 cm
These specimens were collected in the mid-1950s and this piece found its way into local miner Roland Reed's collection via the George Ashley collection. Korpi got it from Reed. As you would expect, hard-matrix specimen of kunzite from San Diego COunty are EXTREMELY RARE and most kunzites from the County are simply loose crystals by the time we mine them. Some recently mined examples from the Vandenburg, taken out during the late 90s, were sprayed and soaked with glue to stabilize the crumbly matrix in which they were found (so they are basically floaters perched in glued pocket rock). THESE CRYSTALS, HOWEVER, are in solid rock matrix and are both stable and attractively nested. The large bottom matrix is not as clunky in person as you might think and serves to display the crystals better, in person. The crystal on the left is 7 cm long and of high quality: very gemmy and deep pink in color! 15.3 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm
This remarkable matrix GEM crystal has incredibly good form and terminations for a San Diego kunzite. It has rich Pala-quality color down the c-axis. Hiriart Hill is around the corner from the actual Pala Chief Mine but is more or less the same area and this locality was also an important producer of gem-grade cutting material in the early years of the 1900s when specimen and gem mining in San Diego provided much of the world's supply of the new species kunzite. Matrix specimens are almost unheard of and I was shocked to see this one, which he obtained from the collection of Chuck Houser in San Diego. Not only is it significant for the locality, but it meets every possible criteria you'd hold a Brazilian or Afghani kunzite specimen to...so then add on the value for locality and its a real killer! I dare to speculate that it might be one of the best matrix American kunzites for the miniature size range? 5 x 4.7 x 3 cm
This large, gem crystal is a spodumene that grades gently from pale green to pink and, in a quirk common to many of the Beebe hole spodumenes in general, the color goes intense kunzite pink on the c axis even though from the other axes you would more appropriately label this as plain ol' spodumene with a bit of pink to it. The Beebe Hole was hit by accident when Loren Beebe was prospecting for garnets (around 1976?) in this remote area and stumbled on a spod shard. Exploration led to a SINGLE pocket which he collected in entirety and hoarded for several decades, selling mostly the cutting rough and keeping most of the better specimens until only recently. He sold this one to his friend Al Ordway, who in turn sold it to Chris. This crystal is said by those who have seen them all, including myself when I visted Loren in 1997 and saw them laid out in his living room, to be one of the top specimens for quality and form. Chris considered it one of the top three, and I would place it in the 3rd-4th spot myself. The best are with Bill Larson and the LA County Museum so if you buy this you would be in good company! This is not far off, in any case, and is an astonishing large gem kunzite from California regardless of where it came from. The quirky story of this one-time jackpot just adds to the fun (and perhaps to the value). Needless to say, the whole area has been searched up and down but no more have been found, even after 30 years. 16.5 x 7 x 2 cm
This MATRIX GEM KUNZITE crystal has excellent form and is simply a miracle for a San Diego kunzite. It is actually a floater, perched in matrix! It has rich Pala-quality color down the c-axis but the most amazing feature is its windowpane clarity and gemminess. The Anita Mine is a small modern reworking into the classic old lodes, but produced very few specimens of this magnitude. This particular piece should be considered an important crystal due to its size and quality while in matrix. 10.8 x 6.4 x 5.5 cm
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